What To Do With Old Dance Costumes

When a dancer outgrows their costumes or decides to move on to a different style of dance, it can be difficult to know what to do with old dance costumes. They are often expensive and a meaningful reminder of past performances. Thankfully, there are several ways to repurpose and make use of these costumes. 

From donating to charities, and reselling, them to repurposing them into something new, we have a variety of creative solutions for your old dance costumes. Whether you are a dance teacher or a dancer, there are plenty of creative and useful ideas for what to do with your old dance costumes. So get ready to get creative and make the most of those old costumes!

What To Do With Old Dance Costumes

Option 1. Sell them

Selling old dance costumes can be a great way to make some extra cash and clear out storage space. The costume market is huge and the demand for quality used costumes is consistently high. With the right effort and research, you can turn your old dance costumes into a source of income.

Here are some tips and facts to help you get started:

  1. Research the Market – Before you begin selling your costumes, do some research to determine the value of your costumes. Look at what others are selling similar items for and find out the average selling price.
  2. Choose the Right Platform – Online marketplaces such as eBay, Amazon, and Etsy are popular platforms for selling used dance costumes. There are also specialty sites like CostumeMates and CostumeCo that are specifically designed for selling used costumes.
  3. Take High-Quality Photos – Make sure to take clear, well-lit photos of your costumes from multiple angles. This will give potential customers a better idea of what your costume looks like and will help them make an informed purchase decision.
  4. Write Detailed Descriptions – When listing your costumes, include as much detail as possible. Include measurements, fabric composition, and any other distinguishing features of the costume.
  1. Price Competitively –  When setting prices, make sure to remain competitive. If your prices are too high, you may have trouble finding customers.

Option 2. Donate them

Dance costumes can be expensive, which makes them difficult for some to acquire. By donating your old costumes, you can help bring the joy of dance to others and be part of a bigger cause.

A few suggestions for donating old dance costumes:

1. Find organizations:  Research local organizations that accept donations of dance costumes. There are a variety of organizations, such as thrift stores, consignment shops, and charitable foundations, that accept donations and give them to those in need.

2. Package: Carefully package the costumes, using clean boxes or bags. Make sure to include a donation form and a brief description of the costumes.

3. Clean: Clean the costumes according to the guidelines of the organization accepting the donation. This will help ensure the costumes are in good condition when they reach their new owners.

4. Deliver: Deliver the costumes to the organization or arrange for the organization to pick them up.

By donating your old dance costumes, you can help bring the joy of dance to others and be part of a bigger cause. According to a survey conducted by the National Dance Alliance, nearly 80% of respondents said they had donated dance costumes in the past and found them to be a rewarding experience. Additionally, 84% of respondents said they would recommend donating dance costumes to others.

Option 3. Save Them For Some Party

If you have old dance costumes that you don’t want to throw away, there are many ways to save them for a future party. Depending on the size and fabric of the costumes, different storage methods are recommended.

Saving old dance costumes for a future party will help to bring some excitement and nostalgia to the event. There are a few things you can do to ensure that your costumes stay in good condition and are ready to wear when the party rolls around.

For costumes made of delicate fabrics such as satin or silk, you should store them in a garment bag and hang them in a closet. Make sure the garment bags are breathable to prevent mildew and other damage. If the costumes are large and bulky, you can store them in large plastic bins that are clearly labeled with the costume’s name.

To prevent fading, costumes should be stored away from direct sunlight. It is also important to check the costumes periodically for signs of damage. If you notice any tears, rips, or stains, you should repair or clean the costumes before using them again.

When you are ready to use the costumes for a party, more significant is to steam them to remove any wrinkles or creases. This will also help to maintain the fabric’s original shape.

Finally, be sure to check all of the costumes for any missing pieces or accessories before you use them. This will help to ensure that your costumes look their best and are ready for the party.

Option 4. Give Back To The Studio

Returning old dance costumes to the dance studio is an excellent way to express appreciation for the art of dance and support the studio and its dancers. Donating gently used dancewear and old dance costumes to the studio can be done in various ways.

By donating old dance costumes or gently used dancewear, you can help the studio save money by not having to purchase new costumes or costly outfits. Additionally, it ensures that the studio has enough costumes for performances and a range of looks to provide the dancers.

Donated costumes and dancewear can be utilized for various purposes, including classes, practice sessions, special occasions, and performances. It may also be used for competitions or to offer dancers a more modern appearance, which can save the studio money while providing the dancers with the best possible opportunity to excel.

Option 5: Upcycle Old Dance Costumes

Upcycling old dance costumes is a creative and environmentally friendly approach to repurposing old costumes while giving them a fresh and new look. It also has the advantage of reducing waste and saving money, as old costumes can be used to create unique and original costumes.

To begin upcycling old dance costumes, start by identifying the items that can be repurposed. Old t-shirts, leotards, tutus, and dance skirts are some items that can be transformed into new costumes. Fabric scraps, ribbons, lace, and buttons can also be used to embellish and customize the costumes.

After identifying the materials, the next step is to determine how to repurpose them. Old t-shirts can be cut into strips to create fringe for skirts and tutus. Old leotards can be turned into tank tops or halter tops. Tutus can be transformed into skirts or dresses. Fabric scraps can be used to make leggings or accessories, while ribbons and lace can be utilized to add flair and elegance to the costumes. Buttons can be added to give the costumes a personalized touch.

The final step is to assemble the costumes, which involves stitching the pieces together, attaching embellishments, and finishing the costume with a hem or seam. If a sewing machine is not available, hand-stitching can also be used to accomplish the same effect.


How do you store old dance costumes?

The easiest way to store old dance costumes is to hang them on sturdy hangers in a sealed garment bag. This will keep the costumes looking neat and organized while also protecting them from dust and other damage.

If you have multiple costumes, you can use clear plastic bins with lids to hold them. Make sure you label the bins so you know what costume is inside each one. If you don’t have room to hang the costumes, you can fold them neatly and store them in a labeled box. Keeping them in a cool, dry place will help them last longer and stay in better condition.

How do you steam wrinkles out of a dance costume?

Steaming out wrinkles from a dance costume is a great way to get it looking its best before a show. To do this, start by laying the costume flat on an ironing board. Then, fill a steamer with hot water and hold it about 5-8 inches away from the fabric.

Move the steamer over the fabric in a slow, sweeping motion to allow the steam to penetrate the fabric. You may need to pass over the fabric several times to get the wrinkles out. When finished, hang the costume up and allow it to air dry.

Where to donate dance costumes?

You can donate old dance costumes to local dance schools or community theaters, or non-profit organizations like Goodwill or Dress for Success. However, It’s important to check with the specific organization before donating to ensure they accept old dance costumes and meet any specific requirements they may have.

Final Thoughts

Consequentially, depending on the condition of the costume and the type of fabric, it can be upcycled, donated, sold, or recycled. When deciding what to do with old dance costumes, essentially consider the condition of the fabric and the costume, the potential use and value of the costume, and any potential environmental or ethical concerns involved. Doing so can help to ensure that the best decision is made for the costume and its impact on the environment.

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